The 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans came alive in the seventh hour, as two of the three Audis hit problems, which has resulted in a big change at the head of the field.
It was as you were for the first half hour, with the #1 leading the #2 and #3. Things soon started to go wrong for Audi as Treluyer brought the leading #1 into the pits for a scheduled stop, but stalled several times and failed to get going after being serviced. A push start was required, before the car was back in just two laps later.
Before the car was pushed into the pit box with an apparent electrical problem, Treluyer climbed out and Marcel Fassler climbed in. But the car has dropped down the order considerably.
Moments later, and the #3 Audi driven by Oliver Jarvis suffered a spin at the first corner following contact with an LMP2 Lotus resulted in a rear right puncture. Jarvis managed to return to the pit lane without sustaining any greater damage, and has re-joined the race, but has dropped to fourth behind the #8 and #7 Toyotas.
The Toyotas were clearly slower than the Audis, but the sudden dramas for the German cars have promoted both Toyotas onto the podium, while Loic Duval leads in the so far only untroubled Audi.
LMP1 seems to be a class of attrition, with the Strakka team reporting a water leak that is not yet terminal, but problems are greater for the already delayed #12 Rebellion which is back in its pit box.
In LMP2, the #26 G-Drive Racing car leads ahead of its long-time rival, the #35 OAK car. The #38 Jota car has now moved up into third, thanks to problems for the #24 OAK. The former class leader has dropped down the order, and is now in sixth, just one place ahead of #42 Greaves Motorsport car which survived an airborne moment at the second chicane, with Jann Mardenborough at the wheel.
The GTE Pro battle continues to rage, with the two Aston Martins of #97 and #99 heading the #92 Porsche. The latter two earlier entered and left the pit lane nose-to-tail after Porsche failed to jump the Aston Martin crew during scheduled stops.
Lastly, the battle for GTE Am honours remains close, with the #88 Porsche holding the lead, despite a moment of its own at the second chicane while on cold tyres. Thankfully, Gianluca Roda managed to avoid damaging the car.
The #55 AF Corse car holds second, with the #76 IMSA Performance Matmut Porsche third. The earlier class leading #61 AF Corse Ferrari is now in fifth, behind the Dempsey Del Piero-Proton Porsche.
1 – #2 Audi Sport Team Joest – Duval/McNish/Kristensen
2 – #8 Toyota Racing – Buemi/Davidson/Sarrazin
3 – #7 Toyota Racing – Lapierre/Nakajima/Wurz
1 – #26 G-Drive Racing – Conway/Martin/Rusinov
2 – #35 OAK Racing – Baguette/Gonzales/Plowman
3 – #38 Jota Sport – Dolan/Luhr/Turvey
1 – #99 Aston Martin Racing – Bell/Makowiecki/Senna
2 – #92 Porsche AG Team Manthey – Dumas/Lieb/Lietz
3 – #97 Aston Martin Racing – Dumbreck/Mucke/Turner
1 – #88 Proton Competition – Ried/Roda/Ruberti
2 – #55 AF Corse – Case/Perazzini/O’Young
3 – #76 IMSA Performance Matmut – Bourret/Narac/Vernay